Wolfgang Reitherman

Active - 1941 - 1981  |   Born - Jan 1, 1909   |   Died - Jan 1, 1985   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American animation director Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman joined the Walt Disney staff in 1933. His extensive contributions to Disney's first feature-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) earned the fledgling animator a lifelong job with Uncle Walt. Together with such cartoon legends as Ollie Johnson, John Lounsberry and Ward Kimball, Reitherman was designated as one of the "Nine Old Men" of Disney, that venerated conclave which worked on all of the studio's animated features. Upon the death of Walt Disney in 1966, Reitherman was put in charge of the animated division; it was during his regime that (for better or worse) the Disney cartoon product began concentrating more on purely comic animation and celebrity voice-overs. Reitherman also directed the first two Winnie the Pooh animated short subjects, winning an Oscar for Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1967). In 1985, four years into his retirement, Wolfgang Reitherman perished in an automobile accident.

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